Women’s Soccer Looking to Build on Last Year
By Brody Tennant, Staff Writer
After going 9-7-2 last season, the Gettysburg College women’s soccer team is hungry and looking to continue their success in the upcoming season.
Head coach Matt Garrett is returning for his twelfth season at Gettysburg and will have help from the 18 players who are returning from last season. Along with their eighth winning record out of the last nine seasons, they also finished Centennial Conference play with a 6-4 record and made the playoffs for the eighth straight season. When asked about his goals for the season, Garrett responded with expectations of a close team and a return to the national spotlight.
“[We want to] become much closer as a team. We want to be a soccer family. That has been our goal since the end of last fall… Each year we are trying to win every game. For us, our goal is getting back to where we were a few years ago when we were competing for conference titles and going to national tournaments,” said Garrett.
This year, the team will be younger than in recent years, with only five seniors returning, along with seven juniors, seven sophomores and ten first years. Garrett gave high praise to his senior class on their leadership.
“We have a good senior class,” he said. “We have five seniors who are all completely engaged, which is great. They are being very receptive of the freshman and younger players and helping them work a lot on developing servant leadership. We are excited about their responsibilities to the younger players and leaving a legacy.”
The five returning seniors are mid-fielders Alexa Bushey, Virginia Sanford, Hannah Hallos, Lauren Miesemer, and forward Samantha Esposito. Coach Garrett also noted that he would like for the team to be more aggressive on the front line.
“We didn’t score enough goals as a team,” stated Garrett. “We want to be attacking a lot more this year and be creative.”
Last season, Esposito tied for the squad lead in points with four goals and three assists. Junior forward Isabel Klatt had ten points with a team high five goals, and Miesemer and junior forward Charlotte Cenatiempo had eight points each.
Coach Garrett also emphasized the mid-field as an area of high importance for the team heading into this season.
“Mid-field is always a focus on our team because we want to be a possession-oriented team,” said Garrett. “We want to keep the ball, so our mid-field is important.” Juniors Brooke Priddy, Brigitte Mullineaux, and Caroline Kostecky will lead the way for the Bullets this season in the mid-field.
The Bullets have always been a strong team in terms of their defensive play, and Coach Garrett made note of that.
“We have always been a very good defensive team, so that is something we will build on again. We have a good group there, which will hopefully be strong again this year,” he said.
Returning this year is sophomore Kerry Sammon, who had a very strong season as the goalkeeper last year. She averaged a 1.13 goals-against average, saw a .757 save percentage, and posted four shutouts.
Gettysburg will be kicked off the 2018 season on the road with a 1-0 overtime loss against non-conference opponent Lynchburg College Friday, Aug. 31. The home opener will take place against Stevenson College on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., while the Centennial Conference opener occurs on Sept. 15 against Washington College at 4 p.m.